A Case of Guilt
By Teresa Fischer
Do you ever wish your life could be different, maybe you could have less stress and more time for the things you want to do? That was Sara’s dream. But then came the guilt and she quickly put those thoughts away. What good does it do to fantasize about what could be when you are in the ‘what is’?
Sara has been caring for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, for about 5 years. She almost got married, but decided to wait to see what was going to happen with mom. Five years later, she is still caring for mom, and still single. Don’t get me wrong, she loves and adores her mom, who gave her everything and sacrificed so much to give her a good life, but Sara promised herself and her mom that she would never put her mom in ‘one of those places’! And now, regardless of the sleepless nights and being pretty much house bound, Sara is determined to keep her promise.
Mom’s Alzheimer’s has gotten to the point that going out is almost impossible because it throws her off her routine and takes days, sometimes a week to get re-oriented. It’s just not worth it anymore. So, Sara lives an isolated and lonely life, secretly dreaming of the day she can freely come and go with no fear or guilt.
Mom is cheerful as usual, with the occasional bout of paranoia and accusations, but it’s manageable. No matter that Sara constantly cleans up the diarrhea mess because mom took off her depends and hid it before her bowels released. No problem that Sara gets up 3 times a night to make sure mom isn’t trying to go out the door or turn on the stove. No problem that Sara spends her days talking to herself and answering because mom can no longer carry on a conversation with her.
If you are struggling with any of these thoughts or your life is similar, it may be time to find somewhere suitable for mom to live. You are NOT the best option if you are stressed out, lonely, burned out and lack sleep or your own socialization.
There are so many good memory care communities and adult family homes out there! You have options! There ARE people who can care for mom just as well as you do! It may be time to look – at least go look and see what you both are missing. Wouldn’t it be nice to visit mom, take her some fresh baked cookies, and have time to ENJOY her instead of being the caregiver? To be her daughter again?
Getting back to Sara and her mom….
Mom had a fall and went to the hospital, nothing broken, but the Dr. suggested that it may be time for Sara to get some help. The social worker suggested she call Concierge Care Advisors, and she agreed to make the call.
After meeting with an Advisor, Sara agreed to go look at a few communities – no commitment, but it couldn’t hurt to look. The Advisor set everything up for her and met her at the door of the Memory Care Community. Together they talked with someone who gave a tour of the community and answered all of Sara’s questions. The other residents seemed well cared for, clean and happy. She saw staff interacting with them and even witnessed the residents interacting with each other, in their own Alzheimer’s type of way! She realized that what she had been doing all these years, others can do just as well as she did.
Sara decided to place mom in a community near her home. She was amazed to see her mom thrive in her new surroundings, and Sara feels like a new woman who is discovering life all over again, just like her mom is.
Don’t be afraid to make that call – you too could be amazed at the possibilities. Let a Concierge Care Advisor help you find the right option for you and your loved one.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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